Presenting the MP Weekly Wonders for the weekend of March 31-April 2, 2017.
Rhys Milton, 14, Swim Utah: 500y free (4:37.87) – Swimming in the boys’ 13-14 500 free at Speedo Short Course Far Western Championships hosted by Pleasanton Seahawks and co-sponsored by Pacific Swimming, Milton dropped 8/10 in prelims to qualify 2nd for the final. He then exploded to a new best time with another 3.8-second improvement, taking an overall 4.6 seconds off his month-old PB, and 17.7 seconds off his time from the same meet last year. Milton went back to Utah with new times in the 200/500/1650 free and 200 fly.
Quinn Scannell, 18, Badger Swim Club: 100y back (54.67) – Scannell had a breakthrough weekend of sorts at the Eastern Zone North Speedo Short Course Sectionals hosted by Syracuse Chargers in Ithaca, New York. She made it past the 55 seconds for the first time, a barrier that had stymied her for a couple of years. She also swam her first sub-1:58 in the 200 back, very nearly going straight past the 1:57s into the 1:56s while winning the event with 1:57.00. Finally, Scannell earned a new PB in the 50 free with her third-place 23.28.
Wyatt Davis, 15, Carmel Swim Club: 100m back (56.11) – Davis erased an improbable 1.77 seconds off a three-week-old PB to win the men’s 100m back at the Speedo Sectionals at Indianapolis. Davis was one of three 15-year-olds in the championship final, and he eked out the win by .07 over Missouri State’s Paul Le. Davis moved up to #16 on the all-time list for 15-16 boys, and he still has another year left in the age group. He finished the weekend with new times in the 50/200/400 free, 50/100/200 back, and 100 fly.
Lance Norris, 13, Rocky Mount Family YMCA: 200y back (1:59.64) – Norris won the boys’ 13-14 200 back and put up his first sub-2:00 swim, at the ECSL Championships hosted by East Carolina Aquatics. It was a personal best by 3.5 seconds, and 12.2 seconds faster than what he went as recently as October 2016. Norris’ weekend included new PBs in the 200/500 free, 100 back, and 200/400 IM, as well.
Oliver Rus, 17, Piranha Swimming @ Darien YMCA: 100y breast (55.09) – Swimming at the Ithaca Sectionals, Rus went 6-for-6 with best times. He took .18 off his previous PB in the 100 breast, which he achieved only 3 weeks ago at the Connecticut high school championships, and won the men’s 100 breast with a 55.09, 2.8 seconds faster than a year ago. He also achieved new personal bests in the 50/100 free, 200 breast, 100 fly, and 200 IM.
Darrien Johnsen, 13, Saw Mill Club Storm Aquatics: 100y breast (1:03.29) – Johnsen won the boys’ 13-14 breast at the GTSA Spring Championship Meet with a new best time that was 8/10 faster than the PB he had just established two weeks prior. In the last year, Johnsen has now dropped 8.1 seconds in the 100 breast. He also went best times in the 100 free (-0.3), 200 breast (-4.1), 100 fly (-1.0), 200 fly (-3.7), and 200 IM (-3.0).
Owen Matteson, 13, Star Swimming: 100m breast (1:09.05) – Matteson improved his 100 breast time by 6.8 seconds over the course of prelims and finals at the Speedo Long Course Sectional Championships in Buffalo, New York. Seeded with a yards time, he dropped nearly 5.7 seconds off his best time from last summer in prelims to vault into the championship final, the only 13-14 boy to make the A, B, or C final in the event. He took another 1.1 seconds off in finals to finish fifth overall. Last May, Matteson was a 1:20.3 100 breaststroker. He finished the weekend with new times in the 50/100/200 free, 100/200 breast, and 100/200 fly.
Chase Davison, 12, Flatiron Athletic Club: 200 breast (2:17.52) – In the “better late than never department”, we note that Davison made herself known at the Four Corners Sectional Meet in Lewisville, Texas two weeks ago with an outstanding performance in the 200 breast. She dropped 4 seconds in prelims to make the championship final, and another 2.5 in finals to finish fifth overall (in an event won by Breeja Larson). Davison shattered the Colorado State record for 12-and-under girls, lowering the mark by 5 seconds. Davison, who picked up her first-ever Winter Juniors cut, is now the fifth-fastest 12-year-old in history in the event.
Megan Deuel, 14, Victor Swim Club: 200y fly (2:01.38) – Deuel notched personal-bests in both butterfly events at the Ithaca Sectionals, placing third in both the 100 and 200 distances. She lopped 3.7 seconds off her two-month-old PB in the 200 fly and earned a Winter Juniors cut, matching the one she had picked up in November for the 100 fly. Deuel improved her time in the 100 by 7/10, breaking the 55-second barrier with 54.92. She finished the weekend with PBs in the 50 free and 200 IM, as well.
Charlize Phillips, 12, Clovis Swim Club: 200y fly (2:08.13) – Phillips had an outstanding swim in finals of the girls’ 11-12 200 fly at Far Westerns, dropping 4 seconds off her entry time and finishing third in the event (behind Isabella Abrajan and Claire Tuggle, both of whom came to the wall under the Far Westerns record). Last March Phillips’ best 200 fly was a 2:20.6. She also dropped nearly 2 seconds in the 100 fly and broke 1:00 for the first time. In addition to the butterfly PBs, Phillips went a best time in the 100 IM.
Madison Kolessar, 14, Suburban Seahawks Club: 400y IM (4:15.91) – Swimming at the Middle Atlantic Short Course Senior Championships hosted by York YMCA, Kolessar picked up her first Summer Juniors cut in the 400 IM, winning the women’s open event with a PB by 3.7 seconds. Kolessar is now 8 seconds faster than she was a year ago. She also earned new times in the 100/500 free, 100/200 back, 100/200 fly, and 200 IM.
One more “better late than never” tidbit: seven swimmers representing Club Olympia Swim Team, a year-old club out of Columbus, Indiana, competed at the Indiana Age Group State Championships two weekends ago. 11-year-old Nalanie Cortez led the way for Club Olympia with 98 points and a second-place finish in high point standings for 11-12 girls. She won the 100 free and 200 free and placed second in the 50 free, third in the 500 free and 50 fly, and ninth in the 200 IM, getting best times and scoring in all six of her events.
Reminder: The Weekly Wonders column is a celebration of age-group swimming, where new champions are made every day. Anyone can look up the top swims of the week. That’s not what we’re doing here. If we were only reporting on the week’s top swims we would feature the same handful of athletes every Wednesday. Instead, this is an opportunity to introduce the swimming community to athletes who have made great strides in the context of their own particular swimming worlds. By association, it also celebrates their coaches and their teams. The Weekly Wonders column, therefore, amounts to a pat on the back for a job well done, and hopefully encourages swimmers of all levels to continue to reach from within to get to that next level.
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